Trout are carnivores, so it’s best to present live bait to them. You can catch them using cutworms, dry flies, salmon eggs, soft plastics, lures, and power baits. Trout is also a great sporting fish with good fighting ability – they are extremely fun to catch because they usually run and jump once they are hooked.
But, when it comes to bait selection, you’ll find an array of bait options – from colorful artificial baits to live bait. Although we know that it’s challenging to find out what they like the most, this guide will help you select the right bait for rainbow trout.
The Best Bait for Rainbow Trout Fishing
Salmon eggs or Micetails are the best baits for rainbow trout fishing. These baits can be used in various weather conditions, and oftentimes provide better results than other artificial baits. However, the best bait would also depend on the type of lake. For example, if you are fishing for trophy trout, Maggots can also be a good option.
- Berkley Powerbait
Berkley Powerbait is ideal if you are new to fishing and want to catch rainbow trout without too much of a hassle. Its unique, fish-attracting scent combined with its buoyant formula makes it ideal for presenting to any passing trout.
Berkley Powerbait comes in several different colors to match with water and weather conditions. Glitter baits and glow-in-the-dark baits are ideal for those evenings when the sun goes down early, and you would want to stay in the lake for some adventure.
Worms are the most popular, and often the best baits for rainbow trout fishing. Different types of worms include cutworms, waxworms, or red wiggler earthworms. The best places to find worms are near the bank of the river, or in your garden. However, if you don’t want to find it yourself, visit your nearest Walmart and purchase a pack of them.
- Crickets and grasshoppers
Although not as popular as worms, crickets and grasshoppers can be used as bait for rainbow trout. These insects also contain a high amount of protein and they are easy to catch from your garden. You can purchase them from Walmart, other bait shops, or you can hunt them yourself.
- Mice tails
Mice tails are another bait to catch rainbow trout. Its soft, squid-like body resembles a morsel of food a trout would want to eat. The soft, flexible body also allows it to travel through the water column without getting stuck on rocks.
Unlike most other soft baits on the market, Micetails come in two contrasting colors. The “head” of a Micetail has one color, while the “tail” section has a contrasting color, allowing you to get two different ‘strike points’ for your hook.
Berkley Micetails mimic a combination of grub and salmon egg, which makes them ideal for trout. In addition, these tails provide movement in the water, giving you a bait that looks alive and rainbow trout cannot resist, while the head provides the majority of the bait’s buoyancy.
- Salmon Eggs
Rainbow trout are predatory fish that feed on any small fish they come across. That’s why it’s normal for them to eat other fish’s eggs. For this reason, using salmon eggs as bait is an effective way to catch rainbow trout. Although not as popular as other lures, salmon eggs can still bring in plenty of trout.
The eggs drift downriver during the spawning season, and the smell and color attract trout to this easy meal afterward. If you want to try salmon eggs as bait, we recommend Pautzke Bait Balls O’Fire Salmon Eggs. Many fishers prefer these eggs, even though they are on the lighter side.
A live minnow is the best bait for rainbow trout fishing, especially if you are comfortable with handling your live bait. You can catch live minnows or head into your local bait shop to buy some. The best thing about live bait is that it causes more disturbance, attracting the trout to your hook. Using artificial minnows is also an option, however, it isn’t as effective as a live minnow.
Maggots are also the top baits for rainbow trout. The larvae of fly-like insects, these soft little morsels come in several different colors and sizes. These lowly white grubs provide a delectable wriggly meal for trout that they struggle to refuse. Maggots can outfish synthetic baits when adequately presented, and can be used in a variety of ways.